Camponotus tortuganus

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Camponotus tortuganus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Camponotini
Genus: Camponotus
Species: C. tortuganus
Binomial name
Camponotus tortuganus
Emery, 1895

Camponotus tortuganus casent0103716 profile 1.jpg

Camponotus tortuganus casent0103716 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


This species is worrisome because there are no other ants that are restricted to south Florida. It also seems susceptible to importation because it eagerly moves into man-made containers and structures of many kinds. Structurally, C. tortuganus is almost identical to Camponotus conspicuus inaequalis Roger from Cuba and the Bahamas, but the typical red and black coloration of C. tortuganus does not match the coloration of C. conspicuus inaequalis that we have seen from the Bahamas. Our guess is that C. tortuganus is either a native Florida geographic isolate of C. conspicuus inaequalis, or it represents a form of C. conspicuus imported from outside the range of C. conspicuus inaequalis. We have seen a series from the Florida Keys that is colored exactly like Bahamian C. conspicuus inaequalis (Deyrup et al. 1988), but we are not quite ready to add this to our list of Florida exotics until the taxonomic status of this complex is a little clearer. Nature may outpace taxonomists: the experiment to test whether C. tortuganus and C. conspicuus inaequalis are reproductively isolated may already be under way in the Florida Keys. (Deyrup, Davis & Cover, 2000.)

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: United States (type locality).
Neotropical Region: Mexico.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


The phylogeography of a group of Pacific Island Camponotus species, which included a number of species groups, was broadly examined by Clouse et al. (2015). They found Camponotus tortuganus is the basal member of a group of species spanning an area from Florida to New Guinea. Also, these species as a clade appear to be part of a larger Neotropical lineage.

Clouse et al 2015 S6 .jpg






The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • tortuganus. Camponotus maculatus subsp. tortuganus Emery, 1895c: 336 (w.) U.S.A. Wheeler, W.M. 1910d: 310 (s.q.m.). Combination in C. (Tanaemyrmex): Emery, 1925b: 80. Subspecies of picipes: Emery, 1920b: 233. Raised to species: Wheeler, W.M. 1932a: 13; Creighton, 1950a: 380; Wilson, 1964b: 12.

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.



Wheeler (1910) – Major Length, 9-11 mm.; head; 2.6 x 2.3 mm.; scape, 2.2 mm.; hind tibia, 2.8 mm.

Head rather long and narrow, with very feebly convex sides, Eyes large, moderately convex. Mandibles 7-toothed. Clypeus strongly carinate, the lobe of its anterior border moderately produced, rather narrow, with very faintly sinuous median edge and rounded lateral corners. Frontal carinae lyrate, rather closely approximated. Antennal scapes terete at the base, neither dilated nor flattened, enlarged towards their tips. Thorax slender, low, evenly arched above in profile; epinotum with the base fully twice as long as the declivity, which is slightly concave. Petiole rather high and narrow, with convex anterior and flattened posterior surface and blunt lateral and upper border. Legs rather long; middle and hind tibiae triangular in cross-section, with sulcate anterior surface.

Head, thorax and petiole subopaque, very densely and finely shagreened. Mandibles shining, coarsely striato-punctate. Anterior border of cheeks and clypeus shining, cheeks and sides of head with small, elongate punctures or foveolae; clypeus and inner borders of frontal carinae, pro- and mesonotum with a few coarse piligerous punctures. Gaster finely and superficially shagreened, shining.

Hairs yellowish, erect, moderately abundant on the dorsal surface, very short and appressed on the antennal scapes and legs; femora with a few long hairs on their flexor surfaces; bristles lacking on the flexor surfaces of the tibiae. Cheeks without erect hairs, those on the anterior border of the clypeus short and inconspicuous. Funiculi with very minute erect hairs. Pubescence very sparse, short on the head and thorax, somewhat longer on the gaster.

Ferruginous brown; head darker than the thorax, and the upper surface of the latter often darker than the pleurae. Mandibles and anterior borders of cheeks and clypeus blackish. Scapes infuscated except at the base. Gaster black or dark brown, venter, base of first segment and posterior margins of segments paler. Coxae and femora yellow, tibiae and tarsi ferruginous.

Minor Length, 6-7 mm.

Head very long, more than twice as long as broad, excluding the mandibles, somewhat narrowed behind in the occipital region; cheeks long, parallel. Clypeus like that of the worker major. Thorax very slender; base of epinotum more than three times as long as the declivity.

Head, thorax and petiole more shining than in the worker major, paler and more yellowish brown; head somewhat darker, mandibles brown. Gaster and legs colored as in the worker major. Pilosity also Similar, but there are no minute erect hairs on the antennal funiculi. Cheeks without foveolae or only with a few faint elongate punctures.


Wheeler (1910) - Length of body, 10-11 mm.; of wings, 11 mm.

Resembling the worker major in sculpture, pilosity and color. Head proportionately longer. Eyes large and convex. Thorax as broad as the head, rather depressed; epinotum withl indistinct base and declivity, the former fully as long as the latter. Petiole similar to that of the worker major.

Wings suffused with sordid yellow; veins and stigma pale brownish yellow.


Wheeler (1910) - Length, 7 mm.

Head through the eyes about as broad as long. Eyes and ocelli very large. Cheeks much shorter than the eyes, straight and parallel. Posterior portion of head broad and rounded. Clypeus sub carinate, with broadly rounded, projecting anterior border. Mandibles narrow, edentate. Antennae slender, first funicular joint as long as the second, distinctly incrassated. Thorax robust, with low, evenly rounded epinotum; its base and declivity indistinctly differentiated, the former about twice as long as the latter. Petiole longer than high, with a low, thick, transverse node. Gaster and legs slender.

Head and thorax subopaque or somewhat shining, especially the pleurae and the front of the head, very minutely and indistinctly shagreened; gaster shining.

Hairs yellow, erect, rather long and abundant on the head and gaster, petiole and epinotum, sparse on the remainder of the thorax. Legs and antennae naked. Pubescence rather long on the gaster, but inconspicuous or absent elsewhere.

Head yellowish brown beneath and behind, with a large dark brown or black spot, on the vertex. Antennae, thorax, petiole and legs brown; gaster dark brown or blackish, with paler posterior margins to the segments; mouthparts and genitalia yellowish. Wings dull whitish, with pale yellow veins and stigma.

Type Material

Wheeler (1910) - Described from a long series of specimens of all four phases belonging to a single colony taken by myself at Miami, Florida.


  • Creighton, W. S. 1950a. The ants of North America. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 104: 1-585 (page 380, raised to species)
  • Deyrup, M., Davis, L. & Cover, S. 2000. Exotic ants in Florida. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 126, 293-325.
  • Emery, C. 1895d. Beiträge zur Kenntniss der nordamerikanischen Ameisenfauna. (Schluss). Zool. Jahrb. Abt. Syst. Geogr. Biol. Tiere 8: 257-360 (page 336, worker described)
  • Emery, C. 1920b. Le genre Camponotus Mayr. Nouvel essai de la subdivision en sous-genres. Rev. Zool. Afr. (Bruss.) 8: 229-260 (page 233, Subspecies of picipes)
  • Emery, C. 1925d. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Formicinae. Genera Insectorum 183: 1-302 (page 80, Combination in C. (Tanaemyrmex))
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1910g. The North American ants of the genus Camponotus Mayr. Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 20: 295-354 (page 310, soldier, queen, male described)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1932a. A list of the ants of Florida with descriptions of new forms. J. N. Y. Entomol. Soc. 40: 1-17 (page 13, Raised to species)
  • Wilson, E. O. 1964b. The ants of the Florida Keys. Breviora 210: 1-14 (page 12, raised to species)